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Airlines dropping metro destinations poses issues

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WITH most domestic flights out of Tiruchy International Airport only bound for Chennai, passenger footfall is likely to reduce in the coming months, causing concern for the travel sec-tor in the city. It now offers seven daily flights to Chennai, one to Kochi and another to Bengaluru. The recent decision by Jet Airways to stop domestic operations from Tiruchy to Mumbai and Delhi is the major reason for the expected drop in domestic passenger footfall at the airport. Several travel agents and air-line sources said sectors like Tiruchy Mumbai and Tiruchy-Delhi were getting excellent pas-senger traffic but slow progress in resuming operations on these by Jet Airways or other carries has led to the travel sector's concerns.

The airport's poor domestic connectivity benefits Chennai airport. "Tiruchy has a lot of potential for more operations to Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai and other cities. Connectivity to these airports will also attract more tourists to Tiruchy. Now, a majority of these tourists would go to Chennai and then come to Tiruchy. The poor domestic connectivity would help Chennai and Tiruchy loses out on tourism, too," said N Ramesh, a travel agent. Industry here has approached several carriers to resume operations to Mumbai and Delhi. Though the city was expecting more flights at least to Bengaluru, airlines have not come forward. Airline sources, though, were optimistic and said, "Tiruchy  air-port is one of the most profitable in India and will get more domes-tic connectivity in nature."

source: epaper . new indianexpress . com/c/3381506

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